Monday, February 28, 2011

Simplicity 5517 - Trouser Jeans Muslin

DD#1 has been shopping for a pair of trouser jeans. There isn’t a shortage at La Cantera, but none are fitting the way she wants them to.  I offered to sew her a pair and found this 70’s wannabe western wear pattern, Simplicity 5517.  I’m not sure of the date as it is missing from the battered envelope, but I’m thinking early 70’s – maybe 1973 or 1974?

Anyway, the most important feature of this pattern is the leg because it is exactly what she has been looking for. I altered the pattern to fit and to incorporate the styling she wants. Changes to the pattern (so far) include:

• Waist lowered one inch
• Zipper fly extension added to the center front
• Small wedge inserted at back crotch near the inseam
• Leg lengthened by three inches
• Back pockets added
I borrowed the back pocket pattern from the one I'd made for her Burda 6006 Anita jeans and guessed as to placement. It was easier to draw in the pockets on the muslin rather than sewing them on.

DD#1 ordered denim from SAFE Denim (American Cotton Growers) and the thirty yard roll arrived today. The website offers several types of denim and it only took a few days for it to arrive. This roll is 12 oz. ring spun, 100% cotton and the price, at $7.15/yd, is reasonable considering that it is 67" wide.

In other news, last week I attached the rivets and button to my Simplicity 7581 jeans. This time, the rivets went on without a hitch and not one was wasted. So, I guess that makes up for last time when more were ruined than attached...

I’ve worn my new jeans and I don’t love them. Well, the problem is the back crotch length near the inseam – it needs to be just a little bit longer. That wasn’t obvious with the muslin nor during construction and it has me wondering why.

The jeans are wearable, but I definitely want to correct the pattern before I sew it again. Everything else seems to be fine but I will wear them a few more times before altering the pattern, just in case there are any other issues.

By the way, the front pocket pieces on this pattern are just like RTW and for me that is reason enough to hunt down this old pattern. I will be copying those front pocket pieces to use with other jeans patterns.

The day I'd worn the new jeans, I'd met DD#1 for a very casual lunch at Chipolte. In the parking lot on the way out, she took a quick photo of the front: 
I’ve put together another muslin of Burda 01-2010-136, this time in size 44. The size 46 was simply too big. The 44 fits and I want to sew it up before I revisit the Simplicity pattern.

I feel like I've been to jeans sewing school but with 30 yards of denim, I think I'm just getting started...


  1. They look great from the front. Do you think you could save them with a gusset?

  2. Well they do look good from the front! And I'm totally jealous of 30 yards of denim (I mean good denim, which doesn't compare to the 20 yards of totally horrid denim I have loitering in my closet). Jeans school is a good thing!